The Trail to Tincup opens with one period of grief in Joyce L. Hocker's life. Her ten-year marriage is ending as she receives notification that her contract to continue teaching at a local college—a position she loves—will not be renewed. Joyce sobs all the way to the campus counseling center, where she meets Anne, who becomes key to helping her deal with grief throughout her life.
Later, Hocker joins her parents for a two week Mediterranean Cruise. This gives her time for some soul searching, which awakens her deeper desires to make real changes in her life.
The author goes back in time to reveal the close bonds her family of five formed during their annual month-long camping trips in the western Colorado Mountains near Tincup. Like many families, they expect they will continue on for many more years. Then over a few short years, illness attacks one after another until Hocker and her brother are the only family members left. The guilt of putting career ahead of family adds to Hocker's grief. How she deals with this pervasive grief is the heart of The Trail to Tincup.
Hocker's excellent writing brings her childhood and early adulthood to life on the pages, and her moving account of her parents' and sister's terminal illnesses is sure to touch the heart of anyone who has dealt with a similar loss. This memoir will likely prompt readers to reflect more on their own lives. The Trail to Tincup is a great choice to add to your memoir list.
Joyce Lynnette Hocker grew up in Texas and is a fourth generation Texan. She has Ph.D. in Communication from the U of Texas, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the U of Montana. She wrote the bestselling text book, Interpersonal Conflict, used in more than 250 universities, it is now in its 10th edition. She is now in semi-retirement, teaching in a lifelong Learning Institute at the U of Montana and Red Willow Learning Center, a nonprofit in Missoula which supports resilience in people who suffer difficult life experiences. She lives with her husband Gary Hawk and their cat, Lonestar.
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